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Poster: uniQ Date: Feb 21, 2004 1:32pm
Forum: prelinger Subject: Even more...

This has been burning at my mind,

What about the ~50,000 films that the Lib. of. Congress got? Are they lost forever? Will we ever see them?

-uniQ

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Poster: Rick Prelinger Date: Feb 21, 2004 1:56pm
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: Even more...

Well, that's a good question. The Library got about 48,000 completed films. Of those, about 28,000 are in the public domain. Of the 28,000, about 40% are held in preprint form (master or printing materials, not release prints where sound and picture are held on the same strand of film). This leaves about 16,800 titles that are (relatively) easy to transfer from a technical standpoint. Many of these are pretty boring, which is not to say they shouldn't be transferred and up on the site. Many are yet to be seen and discovered. Many have a shot or two or a word or two of interesting dialogue or narration, but wading through an entire film to find it can try the patience of even a Spuzz. And many are in poor condition, lacking a main or end title, cut up in various places, badly repaired with Perf-Eze or whatever they used to call it, or faded to pink. I've only put films in poor condition up on the site when I felt they really deserved to be seen despite their deteriorated state (e.g., Perversion for Profit).

We have about 4,000 identifiable "films" or units of unedited footage transferred to videotape. We hope to transfer more. Right now the Internet Archive is trying to diversify what's on the site, which is why we're focusing on the public domain feature film project, for instance. I am, however, committed to putting another 200 or so films online within the next few months.

Then there are new film collections we've acquired since the film archives went to the Library of Congress in 2002. Some of this material has been transferred to videotape and some of it is up, but the vast majority of it remains on film because I don't currently have spare cash to do any more bulk film-to-tape work. It costs about $60 to transfer an average film to tape, so you can see the numbers really add up.

All that said, I want to do more and will find a way to make it happen. Stay tuned.

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Poster: uniQ Date: Feb 21, 2004 6:44pm
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: Even more...

OK, thanks for everything that you're doing and have done. This is a great little community you've founded.

-uniQ